South Texas Blood & Tissue Center stalwart to retire
Norman D. Kalmin, M.D., who joined the South Texas Regional Blood Bank (STRBB) in 1983 and shaped it into the community pillar called the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC), is set to retire in December after 31 years.
Under Kalmin’s guidance, the organization changed its name, moved to its current headquarters, expanded into tissue and biologic testing services, supported the efforts of the National Marrow Donor Program, added an umbilical cord blood bank and initiated the nonprofit subsidiary QualTex Laboratories.
“This has been the journey of a lifetime,” Kalmin said. “I’m honored to have been part of growing this company and harnessing its potential in the healthcare industry. Together with a very supportive board and skilled management staff, I was able steer it in a direction I hoped would maximize its impact, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the result.”
Kalmin’s passionate advocacy made STBTC a household name and ushered the organization into a new era. What began as the South Texas Regional Blood Bank has evolved into BioBridge Global (BBG), the umbrella nonprofit holding company for STBTC, QualTex Laboratories, GenCure and The Blood & Tissue Center Foundation. BBG’s focus stretches beyond blood and tissue to regenerative medicine and all its future potential.
“BioBridge Global is in a position now to be a worldwide leader in the field of regenerative medicine,” Kalmin said. “I am grateful for every forward-thinking person I’ve had the privilege to work with throughout these decades and feel very proud of the legacy I am leaving behind.”
Kalmin left his native South Africa in 1976 with a medical degree from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and completed a residency in clinical pathology at the State University of New York in Buffalo. Following a fellowship in transfusion medicine with the Atlanta Red Cross, he joined STRBB in 1983 as its medical director. He became president and CEO a year later and served in that position until 2010. In 2010, he was appointed to lead QualTex Laboratories, overseeing operations in San Antonio and Atlanta until January 2012. He then relocated to Atlanta as CEO (emeritus) and medical director of the Atlanta division of QualTex Laboratories.
Kalmin was elected in 2006 to the board of the International Society of Blood Transfusion (ISBT) and in 2008 to the vice presidency of that organization. He also is a member of the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) and America’s Blood Centers. He’s published dozens of articles and abstracts in peer-reviewed journals and has made numerous presentations at local, national and international meetings.
“We’ll truly miss Dr. Kalmin and his great vision, and we wish him success and relaxation in this next phase,” said Linda Myers, CEO of BioBridge Global. “BioBridge Global has been built on the foundation he was instrumental in laying, and because of the infrastructure Dr. Kalmin implemented, our future is very bright.”